Catching Up On The Kratom Craze

Green Path. Original image by Pixabay.

I only recently heard about kratom; however, I was instantly intrigued by the remarkable claims made about this plant. Not one to simply rely on anecdotal evidence, I decided to do a bit of my own research and exploration. What I found was quite interesting, which is why I am now sharing my kratom experience with you.

First off, a couple disclaimers:

  • I am not a doctor, botanist nor pharmacist by trade; therefore, I cannot give you “professional” insight about this plant and its effects. However, I am a curious soul and a believer in natural healing. Further, I am willing to try just about any natural remedy if evidence shows it to be safe and provide more benefit than harm. So today I am simply going to review what I found and highlight some things to consider about kratom.
  • Kaldzar does not promote the illegal possession or use of any material. We highly recommend you check your local laws before trying any potentially regulated product.
  • Everybody is unique. We each have a different body chemistry and comfort level with various sensations. Do not assume that my experience is universal.

what is Kratom anyway?

To start, kratom is a tropical evergreen plant that is native to Southeast Asia. It naturally grows in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. Interestingly, it is related to the coffee plant. This is likely reason that is similarly has active compounds that can affect humans and other animals. More on that shortly, but note that these effects have been known about for hundreds of years. As such, kratom has been used in traditional medicines since at least the 19th century.

Mitragyna Speciosa | It’s scientific name


The leaves of the kratom plant contain an active chemical called mitragynine. This compound gives the plant some stimulant-like effects when consumed in smaller quantities, or possible opioid properties if consumed in high enough amounts. Users ingest the active chemicals from the plant by chewing the raw leaves or consuming a dry powder made from them. The most powerful strains are commonly called “Maeng Da”. Consequently, these are also the most coveted due to their potency.

A Natural Nootropic from the Tropics

An increasingly popular topic is that of nootropics. These are the substances that can positively impact the functions of your brain. They can improve cognition, focus, memory, mood and more. Some are extremely common, like coffee and the caffeine within it. However, some are a bit rarer, like kratom. The purported effects of this plant definitely fall within the “nootropic” category. I am interested in those things that can improve mental clarity and cognitive power, so I had to explore this for myself.

Notice that I mentioned “strains” above, as in plural. Indeed, there are several varieties of kratom. The strains of this medicinal plant are recognized and defined by the coloring of the leaves. All have bright green foliage, but the veins vary in color. Accordingly, each variation reportedly has a slightly different effect:

  • Red veins relieve stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Green veins tend to enhance cognitive performance and your immune system.
  • White veins stimulate and are perfect for focus and productivity.
  • Yellow/Gold veins come from a special drying technique and supposedly produce experiences like no other strain.

Learn More About Nootropics and How They Enhance Your Mind


Is it Legal?

Green Maeng Da kratom powder
Green Maeng Da Kratom Powder

Because of the plant’s intoxicating effects, many governments are tracking kratom’s growing popularity and are taking action to control its distribution. For example: per federal law, kratom is legal in the United States; however, it has been banned in several specific states/counties. If you intend to try it for yourself, be sure to research online about the legality of this substance in your region.

My Take

I was impressed by the amount of information available about kratom. Obviously, I’ve boiled down some of that for this post. But I suggest you do some additional online searches of your own if this topic interests you.

And who wouldn’t be amazed by the positive effects that had been reported about this magical plant? I know I am. Including but not limited to its nootropic effects, Kratom is said to help with:

  • Pain Relief via seratonin & dopamine release
  • Immune System Booster due to multiple alkaloids/antioxidants
  • Boosting Energy by optimizing certain metabolic processes and impacting hormone levels
  • Increased Circulation which takes oxygenated blood to areas of need
  • Addiction Recovery (particularly from opiod use), as it curbs withdrawal symptoms
  • Anti-Cough
  • Anti-Depression/Anxiety
  • Improved Concentration
  • Relaxation
  • Improved Sleep
  • Increased Socialization
  • Enhancing Sexual Arousal and Encounters

All the above sound great! But I am aware there is always a flip-side to any coin. Therefore, I looked into the possible negative side-effects of kratom, as well. Those include things like:

  • Addiction and increased tolerance, along with withdrawals, that come with habitual use
  • Constipation
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Drowsiness / Fatigue

Western medicine is good, but Mother Earth also provides cures for almost all that ails us. With that said, I am not a recovering addict or anything like that. However, several of the other positive effects attracted me. And from what I researched, these negative impacts typically come with long-term, high-dose usage. Even before coming to any decision, I knew I was not intending to use kratom in any great quantity or duration. In the end, my research indicated the potential risks were low enough… So I decided to go for it.

maeng da kratom
Maeng Da Powder Sample Pack

What is Kratom like?

There are so many questions about this experience! Let me try to answer the most common…

Where do you get kratom?

Kratom in now being sold in many head shops and can also be found in some gas stations. It is usually sold in capsules and marketed as a stimulant to help keep users -such as truck drivers- awake. However, I wanted to be sure that I only used a high-quality, trusted source. Luckily, I had access to Kats Botanicals. They provide a ton of information specifically on kratom and explain the plants even further. Kats followed up the sale with pamphlets, webinars and testimonials to specifically help guide me through the best kratom experience. By the way, Kats offers more than just kratom; they have high-quality CBD products and other natural remedies worth exploring.


kats botanicals

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What does kratom look like?

In nature, the leaves are broad, smooth, and oval. But kratom leaves are not available here. I received pouches of very dry, very fine powder. This kratom powder is dark green and slightly brown in color.

What does kratom smell Like? and How Does It taste?

To me the powder smells very similar to dried green tea. That is to say, it has herbal and earthy tones, though maybe not quite as crisp or refreshing. Not surprisingly, the taste of kratom matches its smell. It is not exactly pleasant; however, it is not vile either.

What strain did you take?

As you can see in the picture above, I received a variety of nicely packaged samples from Kats. I decided to go with the Green Maeng Da seeing as I was looking to get some work/chores done. Plus, I can always use an immunity boost. Keep in mind that the “feel” and “duration” responses below may vary with a different strain.

How do you take kratom?

I took mine via a classic method called “Toss & Wash“. Basically, this means simply taking about 2g of powder directly in your mouth atop your tongue, then immediately following with water to gulp it down. And swishing extra water around your mouth to help wash down any bits that stuck around. (Note: I did 2 “washes”, so about 4grams, as a dose)

What does kratom feel like?

Recall: different strains provide different effects, and everybody has their own body chemistry. But for me, the plant provided several pleasant feelings. I felt alert and active, which helped me finish some work and chores. At the same time, I also felt a bit relaxed. Think of how you feel after a drink or two… loose and chill, but still under control. I think that part would have been great for socializing.

How long does kratom last?

My research said the effects could last around four hours. Honestly, I did not feel like I was “under the influence” for that long. However, despite the effects being noticeable, they were also subtle. So it is possible I simply didn’t notice their impact as they tapered. In any case, I felt like the height of the effects lasted about two hours.

The Last Drop

So there you have it! That was my first kratom experience. I enjoyed learning about the biology of this plant, as well as the culture and myths surrounding it. I was intrigued by the stimulating and healing powers of Maeng Da. Overall, I found these to be true and effective. And although we need to avoid misuse of kratom to avoid its negative effects, I can attest to positive impacts it can bring to life. As such, I feel comfortable recommending this product to anybody who is looking for a natural pick-me-up.

The things that grow and occur in nature are fascinating. And the ways in which humans use these gifts are equally as interesting. But you don’t have to take my word for it. There are many resources available to help you learn more about this amazing plant. I hope I have tickled your curiosity and encourage you to further explore your world.


If you have any questions, or would like to share your experience with kratom, please drop a note in the comments section below! Thanks, a good luck!


Kats botanical

Kats Botanicals offer a wide variety of natural herbal remedies such as kratom, CBD, and other botanicals. All products are researched and quality-tested to ensure they are providing the best healing experience for you and your pet.

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David Hughes

Contributing Editor and Author at Kaldzar

Certified Biologist and Data Scientist
Constantly curious. Curiously compassionate.


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